Teodor Bădărău
On the Margins of a Speculative Space

Curator: Cătălin Gheorghe

Aparte Project Space, Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, Iași, April 2018

A project produced by Vector Studio in partnership with the Center for Contemporary Photography from Iași and UNAGE as part of Carte Blanche aux Jeunes Créateurs programme financially supported by Institut Français in Iaşi. Coordinator of the doctoral research conducted by Teodor Bădărău: Prof. Dr. Matei Bejenaru.

Teodor Bădărău: On the Margins of a Speculative Space

Curatorial argument:

In his book of essays about the “margins of philosophy”, Jacques Derrida discussed the referential force  of the margins of each page we read in a book, margins that at first appear to us as blank, negative, invisible, but which contain in subsidiary the thoughts of the readers who “manufacture traces” in the differential act of reading. We could find these margins in the experiential installation exhibited in the gallery, in which temporality has suspended itself in order to make room for inter-spatial speculation.

Nowadays we see the variations of the philosophy of “speculative realism”, and if we were to speculate on the margins of Quentin Meillassoux’s thought we could wonder, in the experience of visiting the exhibition, whether the space we cannot see exists independently of our presence in it, whether it is necessary to admit the contingency of correlating with the potential invisible space, whether we do, indeed, know a space we believe to be familiar just because we pass through it every day.

In his project of  “photography-based research”, Teodor Bădărău has processed the “space on the outside of the exhibition space” through simulation, representation and interpretation, involving the relations “anterior auctorial presence” – “initial absence of the viewer” in an act of constructing a paradoxical “differential network” which also engages solitude, alienation and nihilism with  interventionism, intersubjectivism and experiential conceptualism.

His research did not involve a linear investigation starting from an intuition,  documenting the factuality of the space of the gaze in observational objectivist manner, selecting the data confirmed through the experiment of the work process, designing a representation system in order to communicate as convincingly as possible the experience of his explorative design, but instead it involved the creation of a  receptive experience that has placed the audience in a situation of ambiguity, only to immerse it afterwards in a clarification reflection subsequent to surprise.

According to the artist, the aim was to investigate the subsidiary of images, the issues related to the positioning of the photographer, of the camera, of the viewer, and, through this, to the positioning of the subject of representation and of the viewing subject in an unclear intersectionality, as long as the image is the negative of objectuality in relation to spatiality, thus triggering an experience of a fracture between “reality” and its representation as the product of subjective perceptions and reactions, from the perspective of auctorial individuality.

Though the reflection on the condition of the sequentiality of photographic frames, through the meditation on the metaphysical effect of expanding an image on the entire surface on analogue film,  through the construction of a visual installation that has transformed space into movement, through the intermittent production of fragments of neutral spaces that have self-dissolved in a terrible liquid space, Teodor Bădărău doubled and subsequently de-multiplied the viewers on the entire horizontality of the contents of his images and intricacies of the margins of the speculative space which, relatively in essence, he had outlined.

Teodor Bădărău: On the Margins of a Speculative Space

Teodor Bădărău (b. 1977) is a graduate of the “George Enescu” University of the Arts in Iaşi. His artistic discourse is based on institutional and social observation; he proposes the study of the internal mechanisms that distort perceptions and that result in social behaviours, sought both in the private and in the public space. The idea that the image cannot exist other than assumed ideologically makes his work method take over elements of docu-fiction. In his artistic practice he uses the photographic medium, in relation to which he assumes an anti-institutional perspective, denouncing its objective dimension, which he perceives as a conceptual limitation of the medium.

Institut Francais Iasi Vector.org.ro Centrul de Fotografie Contemporana Iasi “George Enescu” National University of the Arts